Handlers of Woody the Woodchuck, billed as Michigan’s official groundhog, say she’s predicting an early spring.
She emerged from her house Saturday at the Howell Conference and Nature Center and stayed out for at least 30 seconds — a decidedly non-scientific indication that an early spring is on the way.
If she hadn’t come out or ran back in before the 30 seconds were up, she’d be forecasting six more weeks of winter. That was the case last year at the nature center in Livingston County’s Marion Township.
The Groundhog Day prediction matched that from handlers of Pennsylvania’s most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil.
Regardless of the critters’ predictive abilities, it’s feeling a bit warmer as a large swath of the northern U.S. emerges from a bitter polar vortex.